Team Canada's Depth – East, West and Ontario

As the World Cup continues to approach and rosters are being unveiled, much controversy has been made of the Team Canada roster. Now we all know that Team Canada is in fact very deep and could effectively put forward two or three world-class teams that could win on any given night. But do we really understand or exactly know how deep Canadian Hockey is.

The truth is we are so deep that some of our best playmakers and skilled youth are excluded from world class events in favour for older, less exciting and dynamic players (although in most cases they can play well). But what if there was a new Tournament where Canada could truly showcase it’s best players old and young. A new tournament where Canada could enter more than one team.

Now unfortunately there is no such tournament but wouldn’t it be great to see Canadian teams of NHLers playing each other and other countries. Fortunately breaking up Canadian Hockey into 3 different regions (similar to major junior all-start game which features the WHL -west vs. OHL – Ontario vs. QMJHL – East) , allows to truly see how deep Canadian hockey is and at the same time give 3 possible Canadian teams that could win any international tournament.

East – Quebec, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador

Goalies: Arguable the best goalies come out of the Canadian East, notably Quebec.

1) Martin Brodeur – Helped Canada win gold and lead NJ to the Stanley Cup a number of times.

2) Roberto Lulongo – 2004 World Hockey Champion, Vezna trophy nominee. Enough said.

3) Jose Theodore – Vezna Trophy winner.

– Other notables: Gigure/ Thibeult/ Denis / Biron / Fleury / Lalime / Cloutier (just to name a few)

Defence:

– Al McInnis (presuming he can see), Eric Desjardins, Patrice Brisbois, Mathieu Biron, Colin White, Philippe Boucher, Marc Andre Bergeron, Stephen Quintal

Wingers:

LW – Alex Tangauy, Eric Daze, Simon Gagne, Luc Robitallie

RW – Martin St.Louis, Glen Murray, Scott Walker, JP Dumont, Michael Ryder, Martin Lapointe

Centres:

Mario Lemieux, Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavilier, Danny Briere, Mike Ribero, Vincent Damphosse.

Coaches: Bob Hartley, Jacques Lemare

Line-Up:

Daze – Lemieux – Murray

Tangauy – Richards – St. Louis

Gagne – Briere – Dumont

Robitallie – Lecavilier – Ryder

McInnis/Bergeron

Desjardins/ Brisbois

White/Boucher

Brodeur

Ratings:

Goaltending: A+

Defence: B

Forwards: A

The Skinny: High octane offence, with exceptional goaltending. Look for lots of odd man rushes and a constant flow of scoring chances (both ways). They are small and size could be an issue if they were to play a physical team. In order to win games they would need to use speed and skill, instead of grit and muscle (not to say they can’t be gritty). The only concern would be on defence. Although most are NHL proven, they would have a hard time containing guys like Forsberg, Sundin, Premeau and Iggy. Considering the defence, it would be interesting to see how the exceptional goaltending would hold against first class offence from teams like Sweeden and Onatrio.

Team Rating: A

West – BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, NWT, Yukon

Goalies:

1) Ed Belfour

2) Chris Osgood

3) Jamie McLennan

Defence:

Jay Bouwmester, Wade Redden, Daryl Sydor, Sheldon Sourey, Robyn Regher, Derek Morris, Eric Brewer, Barret Jackman, Brad Stuart, Wille Mitchell, Jason Smith, Kyle Mclaren, Scott Hannan.

Wingers:

LW – Paul Kariya, Ryan Smyth, Brendon Morrow, Ray Whitney, Jeff Friesen, Geoff Sanderson, Kyle Calder

RW – Jerome Iginla, Dany Heatley, Shane Doan, Mark Reechi, Trent Hunter, Jeoffrey Lupel

Centres:

Joe Sakic, Patrick Marleau, Brendon Morrison, Mike Comrie, Trevor Linden

Coaches: Ken Hitch***** (Edmonton), Wayne Fleming (Winnipeg), Mike Bab***** (Saskatoon)

Line- Up:

Kariya – Sakic – Iginla

Morrow – Morrison – Heatley

Smyth – Comrie – Doan

Whitney – Marleau – Reechi

Redden/Bouwmester

Sourey/ Smith

Sydor/ Regher

Belfour

Goaltending: A – providing Belfour is healthy, otherwise C

Defence: B+ to A range

Forwards: A+

The Skinny: Excellent goaltending, providing it’s Belfour. Basically in an international tournament it would be Belfour or bust for these guys. With names like Sakic, Iginla, Heatley and Marleau they would be a force to reckon with. Good young defence could make or break this team. Again same with the East, size and strength could be an issue, but with guys like Iggy and Smith they would be a bit more equipped then the smaller east team.

Team Rating: A

Ontario

Goalies:

1) Marty Turco

2) Curtis Joseph

3) Andrew Raycroft

– Others: Rolson / Weekes / Burke

Defence:

Chris Pronger, Rob Blake, Adam Foote, Scott Neidemeyer, Ed Jovonoski, Bryan McCabe, Adrian Aucoin, Jay McKee, Scott Stevens, Dan Boyle, Nick Boynton

Wingers:

LW – Rick Nash, Brendon Shannahan, Gary Roberts, Kirk Maltby, Matt Cooke, Cory Stillman, Andrew Brunette, Mike Knuble

RW – Todd Bertuzzi, Jeff O’Neill (c/rw), Steve Sullivan, Justin Williams, Anson Carter, Owen Nolan.

Centres:

Joe Thornton, Keith Premeau, Marc Savard, Jason Allison (If this guy could ever be healthy again), Kris Draper, Steve Yzerman, Andrew Cassels, Joe Niuwendyk, Mike Peca, Eric Stahl, Nathan Horton, Jason Arnott.

Coaches: Pat Quinn (Hamilton), Jacques Martin (St. Pascal, Ont), Joel Quineville

Line-Up:

Nash – Thornton – Sullivan

Stillman – Premeau – Bertuzzi

Shannahan – Yzerman – O’Neil

Roberts – Niuwendyk – Nolan

Blake/ Foote

Neidemeyer/ Jovonoski

Pronger/McCabe

Turco

Goaltending: A – All are solid but not nearly as good as the east.

Defence: A+

Forwards: A

The Skinny: They would be the most physical team with a lot of bumping and grinding. With guys like Roberts, Premeau and Bertuzzi much of the play would be centred around the crease and the goalie. (you know what that would mean for any goalie). These guys could score and have a remarkable defence filled with all-star defensemen.

Team Rating : A

It is quite apparent that all three teams could beat any international team on any given night. They show Canada’s true depth and allow for most of Canada’s talent to thrive in a world class environment. Although this is highly unlikely to ever happen wouldn’t it be great to see these games. That is of course providing they weren’t played like the joke we call the All-star game!

Comments and alternate lineups are appreciated! Sorry if i missed anybody.

Team Canada 2004

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